5 Radio Advertising Tips

Published: 17th August 2014
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Radio is referred to by some advertising people as the "Cinderella medium." It can be spectacularly successful if everything clicks--the right offer, the right message, the right copy, the right stations. Or, when done erroneously, your radio spots can fall on deaf ears.

But when you want more customers, radio for its price, often jumps to the top of the list as the most cost-effective medium for small business. It is therefore a very good idea to try and master the secrets to excellent radio advertising. Here are a few tips on how to make your radio advertising spots more effective.

Make Believability Your #1 Goal

Sincerity must shine through each and every ad you or your writers make. Your announcer must telegraph sincerity. To inject believability, avoid brag or boast. You must believe in your product. Refuse to exaggerate or make excessive claims. If you believe every ad must "scream" at the audience, believability flies out the window. If ego and not knowing enough about your product rules your manner, you'll suffer for it. Nothing kills believability faster. A little honesty, sincerity, and humility improve your advertising, your working atmosphere, your organization, and you.

Have One Big Idea

Focus is key to good radio. This is not the time or the place to start throwing five or six different ideas at the listener in the hope that they'll pick up on all of them. Most of the time, people are driving when they're listening to radio, so their attention is already dedicated to the road. Grasping what's left is not going to be easy, so focus your efforts on one big, bold idea that will make them listen and remember your message.

Great Print Copy Usually Makes Lousy Radio Copy

Too many radio commercials force announcers to tackle long-winded sentences that look great on paper, but sound terrible on the radio. More often than not, the culprit is a print copywriter writing copy for radio. ABC - Always Be Conversational. Talk to the listener. Don't read advertising copy to him.


A common ad is a common mistake. When creating, don't fall into the trap of worrying about what a radio ad should or typically sounds like. Try to avoid being like others. If your commercial has unique elements, it'll better stand out in the commercial clutter and make people curious to learn more. If it's filled with common clichés and generalities, not many will remember it. Since today's consumers are hit by over 5000 advertisements a day (signs, tv, online, etc), you really need to be different to make an impact. Find one or two really interesting and beneficial points, and don't let people ignore the message, or even worse FORGET it. But how do you avoid being ignored? Be entertaining, make an interesting point, tell a story, be anything but the usual!

Try Advertising in Different Radio Stations

If your audience is fairly general and you have successfully tested radio ads on one station, you may want to consider running ads on many stations at the same time. The practice of airing television or radio ads on several stations simultaneously is called a roadblock. The advantages of this strategy are that you get multiple exposure, reach those people who frequently switch stations, and are more likely to benefit from word-of-mouth or viewers talking you


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